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2019 global mobility trends report

KPMG has launched its 2019 report of their Global Assignment Policies and Practices survey (GAPP survey) – and it’s really good!

2019 global mobility trends

The report provides a broad overview of global mobility policies and practices used in the marketplace today. Below is an overview of some of the findings we identified as interesting:

An overview of the KPMG Global Mobility Survey 2019

Demographics of respondents

46% of survey participants have 50 assignees or less (small programmes).

9% of participants have either no formal programme or only recently introduced a formal international assignment programme in the past 2 years or less.

Therefore, it would be worth reading this report alongside our guide to setting up and managing a small-medium size mobility programme.

Assignment policy trends

Long term assignments are the most commonly used assignment policy, being used in 86% of programmes.

Short-term assignments of less than 12 months are the second most common, used in 75% of programmes.

Policy types growing in favour are Permanent Transfers (used in 64% of programmes), Commuter (used in 29% of programmes), Developmental/training (used in 28% of programmes) and Assignee Requested (used in 15% of programmes).

3 policy types expected to grow in popularity the most over the coming 5 years are; Short-term (e.g. less than 12 months), Extended international business trip (e.g. up to 3 months) and Permanent transfer/indefinite length.

88% of participants said that international assignments are sourced via “selection by business unit”. 62% said they have no provision for assessing the suitability of a potential assignee’s suitability for the assignment.

Assignment goals are most commonly set by the host country goal setting process (25%).  With 39% reviewing goals during the assignment at scheduled intervals (e.g. every quarter, 6 months,
annually, etc.)

Legacy policies continue to be phased out.


Relocation services trends

99% provide moving as a benefit. 99% provide storage. 33% include pet shipments. All to varying degrees.

97% provide temporary living as a benefit (to varying degrees).

97% provide relocation destination services as a benefit (to varying degrees).

95% provide host country housing (to varying degrees).

95% provide assistance for children’s primary/secondary education costs (to varying degrees).

98% provide tax return preparation services (to varying degrees).

57% of programmes authorise a pre-assignment visit to the host country to include the assignee spouse/partner (to varying degrees).

70% provide a hardship allowance (to varying degrees).

66% provide spousal/partner assistance (to varying degrees).

A cost-of-living allowance/goods & services (COLA/G&S) differential allowance is provided as a core policy benefit for 66 %of participants.

45% and 44% provide language training and cultural training as a core benefit respectively.

The most common reason for a returning assignee leaving their employer is having no appropriate job available in the home country (30%).

The US, UK and Germany are the top 3 sending and receiving locations.


Assignment technology trends

60% of programmes are not “leveraging” mobility management technology within their programmes.

of the 40% who are, 85% use technology for general administration and data management purposes.

The most important factors in choosing a global mobility technology solution are data analytics and reporting (28%) and integrated workflows (23%)

26% have automation in place in their assignment technology today.

The primary benefit that automation brings is to decrease administrative costs or time (26%).

22% of companies who do not have a technology solution plan to implement one in the next 12 months.


Read the whole report

There are of course hundreds of other data points and benchmarks for you to review as part of this survey report. As you would expect the immigration and tax sides are well covered too. We highly recommend that you take a look.


Source: 2019 Global Assignment Policies and Practices survey, KPMG International, 2019

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